day : 09/05/2009 12 results

West Seattle teacher gets the letter “the District did not send”

You may have seen this one in the citywide media – a teachers’ union saying that Seattle teachers were receiving a letter that in effect canceled their contracts, because of a change in how many “Learning Improvement Days” they’ll be working (1 instead of 2). Seattle Public Schools subsequently issued a statement last night saying, among other things (read the entire statement here) “The District did not send letters today to certificated staff on this topic.” Perhaps that meant they sent the letters some other day, as some teachers have indeed received the letter in question, like longtime Arbor Heights Elementary third-grade teacher (and Web guru) Mark Ahlness – who uploaded his to Flickr (see it here), as proof … it’s dated yesterday. KOMO TV has a followup online tonight, quoting West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist as saying, “We are not firing all our teachers,” while district communications staff say they are “looking into” the discrepancy between the statement and the letter delivery. There’s a detailed discussion/dissection in this comment section on 10:53 PM UPDATE: Checking the SPS website, we note that the district has posted another update online, explaining the discrepancy:

When the District learned this week that the Legislature would not be called back in session, we informed the Seattle Education Association (SEA) that the reductions in state funding would result in one less day for next year’s contract. The District and SEA have been discussing the impacts of reduced state funding for several weeks. We shared with SEA a letter we had prepared notifying their members that next year’s contracts would be for one less day than this year’s contract, or 181 days instead of 182 days.

Labor leaders informed the District on Friday of their intent to file an unfair labor practice against the District. We decided that we would wait until early next week to notify SEA members, allowing time for a more thoughtful discussion with SEA. In an effort to clear up confusion caused by WEA’s Friday press release that erroneously claimed the District had “fired 3,300 teachers,” we notified all of our staff that evening by email that reduced state funding would result in one less day for certificated staff next year.

While instructions were given that letters to teachers and other certificated staff should not be sent until early next week, we now know that some letters were mailed Friday evening instead of being held until early next week.

The fact remains that the legislature eliminated both authorization and funding for one Learning Improvement Day (LID), which means a reduction in funding of $1 million to Seattle Public Schools. In light of needing to fill an additional $34 million budget gap, we must in turn eliminate that LID day from next year’s contract.

We sincerely regret the confusion created for our staff this weekend.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another Fairmount Park burglary

Just got a call about police activity outside shuttered Fairmount Park Elementary (map). Scanner traffic confirms, police are investigating a burglary, apparently involving broken windows, which was the method of entry in previous break-ins, including this one four weeks ago. The school’s been closed for almost two years, but is being reopened for summer school this year, as we first reported here a month ago. As for tonight’s break-in, sounds like police have just finished searching the building but whoever broke in is no longer inside. (9:09 pm side note – We’ve also received a tip about police activity near Schmitz Park Elementary; haven’t heard yet what that’s about, however.)

Man gets off bus, gets hit by car in Highland Park

A “medic response, 6 per rule” call — which usually means serious illness/injury — at 9th SW/SW Elmgrove in Highland Park (map) late last night is now explained on SPDBlotter — a 29-year-old man who had just gotten off a Metro bus was hit by a car, driven by a 51-year-old man described as displaying “signs of being under the influence …” Here’s the full writeup. ADDED EARLY MONDAY: CBgirl says in comments:

The guy who got hit is my roommate. He has multiple injuries (including a very badly broken leg), but thankfully not life-threatening. Very thankful, it could have been fatal!

Update: Memorial fund set up by Jill St. Onge’s family

The story has gone worldwide now, but thanks to Shannon Felix‘s original tip, WSB was the first news organization to report on the still-mysterious death of 27-year-old West Seattleite Jill St. Onge in Thailand, and we will continue to follow up, as family and friends search for answers and work to pay tribute to Ms. St. Onge. One of the newest developments: A memorial fund is now set up — according to this message from her family on the About Jill website (the image at left, of her and dog Sugar, is from that site):

We have set up a Jill St. Onge Memorial Fund. It will be used in a way we feel would represent Jill in the best way. Some ideas are starting a scholarship, establishing a memorial (Bench at a vista point or something along those lines) for every one to enjoy, helping other troubled travelers, using it to fund children art programs. This is very fluid right now. All thoughts and ideas on what would be a good way to represent Jill would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s a direct link to the page where you can donate, with your credit card, via PayPal (or PP account if you have one). Meantime, another update on the About Jill site says her fiance Ryan Kells (who works at Avalon Glassworks in West Seattle) arrived in the U.S. this morning, with Jill’s ashes. Results of the autopsy done in Thailand are not expected to be available for quite some time.

Harbor Island power outage — blamed on a seagull

Other news is starting to break, just as West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day wraps up. Just got word from Seattle City Light that more than 500 customers on Harbor Island are without power, because of a seagull hitting a power line. Here’s the official news release from City Light’s Mike Eagan:

About 552 City Light customers on Harbor Island and along Alaska Way South lost power about 1:15 p.m. today. Most are expected to have power restored by 4 p.m.; the remainder within another three hours.

The outage was caused by a seagull hitting a transmission line. A City Light crew has been called in from home to replace a section of the line.

The Todd Shipyard was among those who lost power, as well as portions of Stevedoring Services of America.

7:20 PM UPDATE: According to the most recent update from City Light, e-mailed just under an hour ago, everyone has their power back except the site where the gull-vs.-line actually happened, the Burlington Northern Railroad yard; about that, Eagan writes, “A City Light repair crew was called in from home to replace the section of line and City Light expects power to be restored to Burlington Northern by 8:00 p.m.”

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – update #4

That’s Sale #68 – Hope Lutheran Youth New Orleans Mission Trip – 4456 42nd SW – close to all the other Junction sales – they’re raising money to go help with the ongoing rebuilding effort. Another group of people raising money so they can travel to make a difference, Amigos de las Americas – Sale #33 – Amigos de las Americas – 3010 37th SW – this writer explains what the sale is all about, noting that his daughter is traveling to Honduras with the group:

Plus, sellers’ pix keep coming in, like this one:

That photo arrived from David with this explanation:

Tons gone with the morning rush. But we have a new arrival- 7 brand
new snowboards and gear. Boards are $150 obo, pants $10

Plus, electronics, furniture and more!

Use our back alley entrance off SW Walker/California Ave.

House # is 2116 Ferry Ave SW but sale located in back alley

Still some other spots we haven’t made it to in north West Seattle yet, like WSB sponsors Click! Design That Fits – heading out shortly!

1:18 PM UPDATE: Just visited Sale #170 – International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, 9206 30th Avenue SW – got some Rainbow Girls and their adult sidekicks to stop for a second and pose (they say the sale’s going “really well” – they have a bake sale too):

This is very close to Roxhill Elementary, which has a sale going inside the cafeteria – caught a glimpse as we passed but couldn’t get a pic from the street. Off now to Admiral and Alki. Oh, but first, just got a photo from Sale #126 – 6526 49th SW, where Kelly says they’ve got lots of great deals to be had, including “super baby stuff,” and sent a photo:

More to come! Sale continues till 3, all over the peninsula …

2:02 PM: Just visited WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits – which we caught during the only real lull of the day, Click! co-proprietor John Smersh told us … some deals half off!

Click! is open till 5 today, if you’re looking for a last minute gift for Mom, perhaps … Now on to Alki, where the weather is mega-warm, parking is tough to find, and this incredibly beautiful day continues. Passed several sales along the way and saw shoppers everywhere!

2:15 PM UPDATE: Just drove by the Log House Museum‘s sale, #18 on the map, 61st/Stevens. Good foot traffic, but parking’s a challenge, so we shot a photo as we passed – that’s the reflection of our laptop in the passenger-side window:

35 minutes to go … and remember some sales are continuing past 3 …

2:40 PM UPDATE: And on the other hand, some ended earlier: Just passed the 2200 block of 44th SW, where there’s a sign reading GARAGE SALE SOLD OUT – THANKS!

2:48 PM UPDATE: Dropping by the Hotwire courtyard, site of the biggest group sale, to see how the day is wrapping up, and to grab a drink. Couple photos here in the final moments:

Hope everyone had a great time, whether you were selling or shopping. We’ll post more wrapups later. Pix still welcome – and if you write about this on a personal website and want to send the link, we’ll be looking for those too – also remember the contest entries, most creative sign, most unusual item bought, most unusual item sold, send a photo and the sale address where it’s from, plus your contact info, – ASAP (we’re looking up the deadline we set last year).

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – report #3

That’s one of the busiest sales we’ve been to so far – the Lincoln Park Co-Op Preschool sale (dozens of families participating; gee, that was Junior Member of the Team’s very first school!) at Seaview Methodist Church, #119 – 4620 SW Graham. Alki Co-Op Preschool is also having a multi-family sale, #31 on the map, 3035 38th SW. And back in The Junction, more pix starting with WSB sponsor Brunette Mix, sale #72 (SW Oregon just west of California in The Junction, north of the main WaMu/Chase branch), where we found a couple of cool custom purses, among other items:

11:02 AM UPDATE: Back from more sites. The Lincoln Park P-Patch crew has a great sale going – sale #139, official address 7400 Fauntleroy Way SW – it’s a little bit off the beaten path – the garden is behind the Lincoln Park Annex tennis courts, which are on Fauntleroy across from the 76 station:

And West Seattle High School Grad Night Committee not only has a sale going — it’s #27 on the map and it’s at the school, 3000 California SW — but also a car wash:

Another group site in addition to Hotwire/Ginomai is Sale #107 – C & P Coffee, 5612 California SW – where we caught a quick pic while out running around:

Multiple sellers here. If you’re just joining us, the sales continue till 3 pm (although a few have chosen to run longer, like Alki Lodge #152 [WSB sponsor], 4736 40th SW in The Junction, going till 4 pm). And everyone’s welcome to send a pic – just got one from Sale #95 – 5204-D Delridge Way SW, only foosball table we’ve seen so far:

Thanks to Ryan for the photo. We’ve also received a photo from Hillary – Sale #176 – 9822 42nd Ave SW – who had noted in the ad verbiage, they’ve moved from back East with too much stuff!

12:16 PM: If you haven’t been to the Hotwire courtyard yet (4410 California SW in The Junction), ArtsWest is among the sellers, with costumes among other items – Hotwire’s Lora sent this photo:

Haven’t been out shopping yet? Still time … the map’s here … so many sales that they can’t ALL be sold out yet … We’ll be launching Update #4 here shortly, and again, we’re updating in sale-by-sale bursts at … some of today’s sellers also have posted extra info about their sales in the Freebies, Deals, Sales section of the WSB Forums (where you can post your future yard sale FREE, any time, as long as it’s in West Seattle/White Center).

Also happening right now: Gateway cleanup followup

May 9, 2009 10:16 am
|    Comments Off on Also happening right now: Gateway cleanup followup
 |   Environment | How to help | West Seattle news

Myron with the blackberry-whooper,” is how Sharonn Meeks captioned that photo, sent from the followup cleanup happening along a section of the “Gateway” stretch of the Fauntleroy Way end of The Bridge – sequel to the huge cleanup last September (as covered here), organized by the Fairmount Community Association. If you want to pitch in, they’re continuing till about 1 pm. Thanks to Sharonn for the photos!

Unrelated P.S., one more reminder of another way to do good today – Be sure your bag of nonperishable food is out for your letter carrier to pick up as part of the one-day-only Stamp Out Hunger food drive!

11:26 AM UPDATE: Another photo from Sharonn – Earl Cruzen, whose hard work helped pave the way for many special things around West Seattle, including Walking on Logs, which is part of today’s cleanup and the backdrop for this photo:

Sharonn notes Earl is still going strong at 89 AND despite the fact he’s recovering from a stroke a few months ago.

ADDED LATER: One last pic from Sharonn – the results!

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2009, report #2

May 9, 2009 9:26 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2009, report #2
 |   Community Garage Sale Day

(above photo, Hotwire courtyard, courtesy Lora Lewis)

Service groups and other nonprofits have a big presence on The Map (get it here) today, as well as schools, churches, etc. Above – just a small section of what you’ll find at Alki Lodge #152, sale #81, 4736 40th SW, which sponsored WSB this past week to get the word out about The Sale (same location has the Westside Unitarian Universalists, whose mascot was shown in our first update) – they’re selling later than the official end time – find them there till 4 pm. And the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle (sale #108, 5637 42nd SW) has a big sale today too:

More pictures and updates to come – remember to send us yours, (or if you already have an address for us in your phone or computer, we’re monitoring them all).

9:31 AM: Just received this request to shoppers and sellers, from WestSide Baby, which helps families in need, all over West Seattle, White Center and vicinity:
Just received this:

Request to WestSide Baby Supporters and Garage Sale People

As you are shopping or closing up shop at the end of the day today, please help us fill the need.
We are desperate to fill our shelves for clothing items in the following sizes:
Boys. Sizes 4 to 8
Girls Sizes. 4, 5, 7, 8

We also need the following equipment:

Carseats that are less than 6 years old
Highchairs with straps
Bouncy seats
Strollers, especially doubles
Portable Cribs

We would be thrilled to have them on Monday at 10032. 15th Ave SW in white center.

9:35 AM: Just got a photo from Sale #121 – 6043 Fauntleroy Way SW:

9:45 AM: From Sale #117 – Chief Sealth PTSA: 5950 Delridge Way SW – where we seem to recall word of a bake sale, hot dogs, all sorts of additions beyond “just” the big sale itself, which is a fundraiser for a student trip to Japan:

9:59 AM: Hour #2 just beginning! Added a photo at the top of the post, from Lora @ Hotwire, where the courtyard sale is buzzing.

10:23 AM UPDATE: From Sale #149 – 8107 37th Ave SW – a “most unusual item” entrant, a $10,000 van:

Keep the pix coming – our roving photojournalist will be back with more too! (And we’re starting update #3 now … remember, sales are also being spotlighted individually at – where you also can get the map if you haven’t procured one yet, the sales continue till 3 pm!)

Also happening today: Vietnamese Cultural Center memorial

May 9, 2009 9:15 am
|    Comments Off on Also happening today: Vietnamese Cultural Center memorial
 |   Delridge | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day is of course far from the only thing happening today – the West Seattle Weekend Lineup has a TON of other events (see it here) – among them, an event to which you’re invited at the Vietnamese Cultural Center on SW Orchard just north of Home Depot (west of Delridge) – home to the sculpture shown above (as featured in this WSB story last year):

We are observing Memorial Day on May 9th to honor the 50,000 American soldiers who died fighting for freedom in Vietnam. Annually, the Vietnamese American Community gather around April 30th to remember the fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War. We invite you to join us in our traditional memorial ceremony this year.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day update #1

May 9, 2009 7:59 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day update #1
 |   Community Garage Sale Day

(That’s Frogsquatch, mascot of the Westside Unitarian Universalists’ sale, same site as Alki Lodge #152’s sale)
Sun! Shopping! Selling! First pix shortly. Don’t have your map yet? Go here. Updates here on WSB will be interspersed with other news; at, it’ll be All Garage Sale Day, All The Time. We’ll also be sending updates on Twitter (@westseattleblog) and Facebook. Have fun! And send pix if you can (cameraphone pix are GREAT too) – or any of our other addresses.

8:23 AM UPDATE: Adding the first photos and video. Here’s video of setup at the Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) courtyard, where dozens of people are tabling instead of having individual sales (the courtyard at C&P Coffee is another such site):

8:42 AM: Sale #51, 3831 44th SW, just sent this photo:

And here’s Sale #83’s entry into the sign contest (with three other variations):

8:59 AM:
Sale #152 is one of the southernmost sales – 11027 36th SW:

We were there around quarter till 9 and the first potential buyers (hey! we said no early birds!) were pulling up already. We’ll be starting another update here on WSB shortly – continuous updates on – gotta mention a few other things that are happening today.

Overnight notes: Reservoir; countdown; tech; Tony’s; deals

RESERVOIR TOUR: We’ve been talking with Seattle Public Utilities for a while about setting up a tour of the reservoir-covering work at West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir, and today we finally got to take that tour. You’ll see the full story here within the next couple days, probably Sunday night if there’s no breaking news; the photo above is from inside the section that’s being covered, where concrete columns go up before the “lid.” It’s an amazing project, not quite as big as this one we covered at Beacon Hill last year; watch for our story.

COUNTDOWN’S ON: As of this afternoon, NASA has started the clock (see it here) running down to Monday’s scheduled launch of the shuttle Atlantis, piloted by West Seattle High School Class of ’72 alum Gregory Johnson (more backstory here). The launch is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

TOP 100 SEATTLE WOMEN IN TECH, THE WEST SEATTLE REPS: TechFlash published this list today and, as WSB Forum members pointed out before we’d even heard about it, WSB editor/co-publisher TR is on the list. Not alone in West Seattle residence, either – among the names we recognize, Patty Stonesifer, Vanessa Fox, Michelle Nicolosi, Shauna Causey. (Anybody else on the list who you know to be a West Seattleite? Let us know!) *Added Sunday night – thanks to the commenter who notes Joleen Winther Hughes is another West Seattleite on the list.

SPOTLIGHT FOR TONY’S: Hadn’t seen this till Seattle Weekly editorial exec Mike Seely, also a West Seattleite, mentioned it – his feature about Tony’s Produce, the beloved vegetable/fruit stand at 35th/Barton. Read it here.

Wanted to showcase this post from the WSB Forums if you haven’t seen it already: WSB’er Kevin writes a detailed look at what’s available at Cash ‘n’ Carry, a potential Costco alternative.